Articles by Dan Holohan

Blame the Kids: The Cause of Your Mechanical Malfunctions

Kids do the Darndest Things, Don’t They?
June 23, 2014

It took six firefighters to get the kid out of the duct, and Mama got older. Much older.


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When I’m 64: Knowledge is the Greatest Gift

Knowledge is the Greatest Gift You Can Give
April 28, 2014

I turned 64 in January, and if I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself. 


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My Day as a Potted Plant

A Tale of Corporate Misunderstanding and Embarrassing New Suits
February 24, 2014

The year I served as the potted plant, Sheraton was building a hotel out on Lawn Guyland. This is where things got tricky. 


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You Don’t Need a Weatherman

You Do Need Knowledge of the Quirks of Older Heating Systems
December 16, 2013

Unless you get an older steam system working as it should be working, sensors and software will just let you know that something is wrong.


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A Grand Punch in the Mouth

Lessons Learned from the Great Recession and Hurricane Sandy
October 28, 2013

As the noted philosopher Mr. Michael “Iron Mike” Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan, ’til they get punched in the mouth.”


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A History of Steam Pressure Relief Valves

Who Truly Gets Credit for the Invention of the Steam Pressure Relief Valve?
August 12, 2013

In 1905, a boiler in a Boston shoe factory blew up, traveled a great distance through the air, and landed, with delightful justice, in the front yard of the operating engineer’s house. Think it got his attention?


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The Challenges of Early 20th Century High-Rise Steam-Heating Systems

June 3, 2013

This system is the missing link between one- and two-pipe steam. It was used in tall buildings in the early 1900s because a building this tall wouldn’t work well with one-pipe steam if the supply came up from the basement. 


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Putting the Fish in Efficiency

March 18, 2013

High efficiency comes with a price that’s higher than normal efficiency (whatever that is), and because of that higher price, high efficiency is now a subjective term that is open to broad interpretation, and perhaps even reinvention. 


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Troubleshooting Old Steam-Heating Systems

January 14, 2013
Older cities are loaded with boiler rooms full of steam-heating boilers, and lots of people — knuckleheads included — have had decades to mess with what the “dead men” once lovingly installed. So, here’s a short list of things to look for when you’re troubleshooting one of those old systems, starting in the boiler room.
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Troubleshooting a Wimpy Steam Heater

November 19, 2012
So there’s this steam unit heater that won’t put out what it’s supposed to put out. It’s wimpy. The guy with the problem is telling me about it and he’s gesturing like he’s swatting bees. What is a contractor to do?


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The 2014 ACI National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show was held in Detroit.

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Doug Dougherty, president and CEO of the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) joins the program to discuss the latest happenings with GEO, including the drive to get included in state and federal definitions of renewable energy, plus the future of geothermal.  Posted on July 25.

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